#NigeriaAt60: All the reasons Buhari cannot compare Saudi Arabia with Nigeria


The Nigerian government and her people have been at a discontented marriage for far too long. For the most, the people blame the government for bad governance, corruption, and negligence to their needs. The government, on the other hand, brand Nigerians as impatient, overly demanding, lazy, and also corrupt. There are a few things, however, that brings both parts together – a national celebration like the independence day.

Today, October 1, 2020, Nigeria is celebrating its 60th independence anniversary. The celebration which highlights more than just independence from colonial disintegration has evolved into a hypocritic celebration of Nigeria’s ‘oneness’.

On this year’s celebration, many have narrated how the government has failed and why there’s a need for accountability.

Social media is currently buzzing with trends like #NotIndependent #Nigeria60AndUseless, #NigeriaAt60, and a host of others. Trends that challenge the government on its failures especially with the recent news in the increased price of fuel and electricity tariff as well as the dying education sector.

The president, through his Twitter, highlighted a few points on why Nigerians should be less demanding and observe what is obtainable in other countries.  He also used the medium to share reasons why certain developments have occurred in the past few weeks.

On the increase in the price of fuel, Buhari had compared the prices of fuel in other African countries and Saudi Arabia. Pointing out that Nigeria has one of the cheapest prices of fuel in the world. His Tweet, as expected, created a chain of reaction on Twitter.

The conversation:

In plain terms…

Minimum Wage: Saudi Arabia has 3,000 Saudi riyals as the least amount of money to be paid to a person working in the public sector. Nigeria, on the other hand, has its minimum wage set to 30,000 Nigerian Naira. converting 3,000 Saudi riyals to Naira would give one 305,130 Naira.

Standard/cost of living: Many Nigerians would agree that there’s a struggle with almost everything concerning the government. Provisions of good road, infrastructure, power, food, jobs, and the list goes on. The standard of living in Nigeria is nothing compared to that in Saudi Arabia where there is free education, free healthcare, etc.

Buhari’s comparison may be coming from a misinformed angle. Where we have called for transparency and reasons backing government decisions, the least the government can do for Nigerians is a little research before making decisions or comparisons.

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